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Papers of the Week

Papers: 18 Jan 2020 - 24 Jan 2020

Animal Studies

2020 01 21

Cell Rep



Loss of bhlha9 Impairs Thermotaxis and Formalin-Evoked Pain in a Sexually Dimorphic Manner.


Bohic M, Marics I, Santos C, Malapert P, Ben-Arie N, Salio C, Reynders A, Le Feuvre Y, Saurin AJ, Moqrich A
Cell Rep. 2020 01 21; 30(3):602-610.e6.
PMID: 31968239.


C-LTMRs are known to convey affective aspects of touch and to modulate injury-induced pain in humans and mice. However, a role for these neurons in temperature sensation has been suggested, but not fully demonstrated. Here, we report that deletion of C-low-threshold mechanoreceptor (C-LTMR)-expressed bhlha9 causes impaired thermotaxis behavior and exacerbated formalin-evoked pain in male, but not female, mice. Positive modulators of GABA receptors failed to relieve inflammatory formalin pain and failed to decrease the frequency of spontaneous excitatory post-synaptic currents (sEPSCs) selectively in bhlha9 knockout (KO) males. This could be explained by a drastic change in the GABA content of lamina II inner inhibitory interneurons contacting C-LTMR central terminals. Finally, C-LTMR-specific deep RNA sequencing revealed more genes differentially expressed in male than in female bhlha9 KO C-LTMRs. Our data consolidate the role of C-LTMRs in modulation of formalin pain and provide in vivo evidence of their role in the discriminative aspects of temperature sensation.